For a lot of people, 2016 has been a horrible year. But let’s take a moment to look at some of the good stuff that happened this year.
2016 has been a rough year, or so we’ve been told by the media.
And sure, plenty of stuff has happened this year that makes us want to forget all about 2016.
But hold on! There’s been some amazing development as well.
It was year in which Boyan Slat and his Ocean Cleanup team placed their North Sea Prototype. The Ocean Cleanup makes it possible to rid the seas of (plastic) waste a lot faster than conventional methods.
Daan Roosegaarde and his studio moved forward in cleaning our air by placing their first Smog free Tower in Beijing. The tower filters the smog out of the air and collects that smog to make jewelry out of. The profit of this sale then goes into building more towers!
Renewable energy became more profitable than fossil fuels this year and several animals among which the Giant Panda were taken off the endangered species list!
Norway became the first country to commit to zero deforestation, and offshore drilling in the Arctic is as of 2016 banned until at least 2022. And protesters stopped the Dakota Access Pipeline.
A new stem cell procedure caused a former paralyzed man to regain movement in his upper body again. After being treated with the stemcells, Kris Boesen could hug his parents and friends, use a cellphone and feed himself again after merely three months!
It was also the year in which the measles have been eradicated in all of the Americas from Canada to Chile! Malaria too is on the decline; The World Health organisation showed that malaria deaths have decreased with 60% since 2000. But colon cancer, dementia and heart disease are on the decline as well in wealthy countries.
Exoskeletons were on the rise this year and the first exoskeleton for kids was created. Brain prosthetic technology was further developed and made accessible to more people.
And the public smoking bans have improved health in 21 nations.
Power to the People
Myanmar swore in its first elected civilian leader in more than 50 years and the dictatorship in Gambia has finally come to an end. More good news from Gambia; along with Tanzania, they’ve banned child marriage.
This summer’s Olympics in Rio showed the rising trend for the LGBT community with a record number of out athletes and even a proposal!
More than 800,000 volunteers planted more than 50 million trees in one day in India last July. They want to reforest at least 12% of the country.
We’ve become more generous as well this year; the amount of money we’ve spent on aid and development increased with 7% and the spending on refugees has doubled.
Despite them populists, Germany did great by taking in 300,000 refugees in 2016.
The charitable giving in China rose to 15 billion dollars. And world hunger is at its lowest point in 25 years!
So, we got this; when we put our minds to it, we as people can move forward!
Let’s work together to make 2017 (even!) better than 2016